At the end of June, I shared my updated running goals for 2016. Some of my goals for the first half of the year had already been accomplished, while others had less significance as the year went on and other goals took priority. Reassessing my goals and shifting my focus as needed helped me start off the summer strong!
PR in the Marathon
I begin training for the California International Marathon on Monday, August 1 with the first month focusing on speed development, neuromuscular fitness, and building my base up a bit more. I’ll share more details about my plan next week; meanwhile, I’m excited to start!
Improve Fueling and Hydration
Marathon fueling and hydration are an ever-evolving art for each individual runner. Again, this is something I plan on sharing more about in detail, but my current plan is to experiment with what I call high/low training. On some long runs I’ll run with fuel to teach my body how to use its fat and glycogen stores, on other long runs (especially ones near or at marathon pace) I will practice fueling to train my stomach for race day (I talk briefly about it in the podcast interview I did with Diz Runs with…, and I’ll also be sharing more in an upcoming blog post).
Want to improve your fueling and hydration for running? I offer a comprehensive 6-week e-course on fueling and hydration for runners, complete with lessons, worksheets, and individual feedback – learn more and sign up here!
Improve Running Form and Stride
Over the past month, I incorporated hill repeats, strides, drills, and specific strength exercises such as hamstring ball curls and plank rows to improve my running form. I still have a significant amount of progress, since these improvements require months of focused work. In addition to continuing these, I plan on adding hill sprints, mobility work such as MYRTLs, and jump rope (to improve turnover and cadence) into my weekly training.
I was diligent about my core work in July, with stability ball workouts and Pilates each at least once per week plus planks after my weight lifting workout. My core already feels stronger on runs, back to how it felt during the peak of my half marathon training, but as with many aspects of training, this continues to require consistency – no backing off just because there’s been some progress.
Optimize My Nutrition for Peak Performance
As I mentioned in my update on how eating less meat has impacted my running, I know that I will need to focus particularly on eating more protein for recovery during marathon training. I don’t skimp on protein by any means, but I know that as my activity levels increase, so will my nutritional needs.
I do firmly believe that you can consume enough protein without supplementation from protein powder, even if you are on a vegetarian diet. However, we all know how long distance running can throw off our appetites and cravings. Sometimes, the last thing you want after a hard long speed workout is to sit down and eat a large meal. All I want after a long run is some coconut water, salt, and carbs on carbs on carbs (especially oatmeal and lots of fruit).
Research demonstrates that running can suppress your appetite, particularly after a hard effort. I have enough of an appetite to manage my normal bowl of oatmeal (made with rolled oats, egg, chia seeds, and fruit/vegetables), but adding anything more is not always desirable during that key hour window for recovery nutrition.
Bob’s Red Mill’s Nutritional Booster Protein Powder is a plant-based (pea powder), vegan and gluten free protein powder (no soy, no whey) that adds additional protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids into your post-run breakfast or snack even when you’re experiencing that post-run appetite suppression. I chose this one over any other protein powders because of the nutritional profile: protein for muscle recovery, carbs to help replenish your glycogen stores during that prime recovery window, and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.
After my long runs and hard workouts, I will add Bob’s Red Mill protein powder to my post-run breakfast. Recovery is a top priority during marathon training, and that priority begins with proper nutrition after my morning run.
Plus, Ryan and I are still enjoying these chocolate protein pancakes each weekend. They’re delicious and offer the indulgence of a sweet breakfast but without the sugar crash thanks to the complex carbohydrates and higher protein content.
You can enter to win a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Booster Protein Powder at the bottom of this post!
Lift Heavier Weight Once Per Week
Another check! This short and effective routine from Runner’s World has been my favorite for the past month. My apartment gym does not have barbells, so instead I use dumbbells for all the movements. Right now I’m ranging 3 sets of 8-10 reps at 25-30 lbs for each exercise, which are higher compared to the 10-15 lb weights I used to lift.
Grow My Coaching Business
Each week over the past few months I have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a mastermind group with three other knowledgeable, supportive, hard-working coaches (Susie, Denny, and Nora). I may be a coaching business of one, but the mentorship and community support is truly what makes a difference through the ups and downs of coaching.
Each month has presented me with the opportunity to coach more runners, for which I am so deeply grateful. I find immense vocational fulfillment in helping other runners achieve their goals. If you’re considering hiring a running coach, I would love to work with you – so email me or contact me here!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Fit Approach. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for your support of This Runner’s Recipes!
Linking up with Thinking Out Loud!
How are you achieving your goals this summer?
How many weeks do you devote to marathon training?
What’s your biggest goal for next month?